About self-promotion

If you haven’t, you need to read David Carruthers’ post Why I Use Twitter. Hint…It’s Not Self-Promotion.  It’s the conversation that everyone who uses social media at any level needs to have with themselves.

I read it and wrote a “blog post” reply to David in the comments and maybe pushed a button with him but I think that’s OK.  At this point, even the fact that we’re having this discussion is a statement that there is no definitive answer on this.

So, this is now about me and my perspective.  David was the catalyst that got me started.

self-promotion Promotion, including advertising and publicity, of oneself effected by oneself.

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. S.v. “self-promotion.” Retrieved October 31 2018 from https://www.thefreedictionary.com/self-promotion

I would argue that, at an appropriate level, self-promotion is a necessary element in our digitally connected world.  There is so much information, and even noise, that it’s necessary to help get your word out.

There was a time BT (Before Twitter) where promotion was done by your actions, promoted by people who experienced you doing good things.  Now, it can be done DIY.

But there should be a limit.

In my reply to David, I did a social media take on the old adage of the forest and falling trees.

The blogging equivalent would be “if I write a post and don’t let people know about it, does it exist?”

As I indicated in the reply, there should be a significant amount of self control over self-promotion.  After a while at very high and frequent levels, and I hope we can all agree on this, it can become annoying and block-worthy.  Then, the wheels fall off.  David sets the context in Twitter and perhaps the worst of the worst actions is retweeting yourself over and over.

Beyond annoying, could it become dangerous when it becomes over-promotion?

Does there reach a point where the over-promotion turns the individual from just another social media user to a perceived expert in their chosen field with no qualifications other than a message that’s been repeated and repeated?  It seems to me that this scenario goes far beyond annoying and now into the world of dangerous.

It goes that extra step beyond analyzing yourself and into critically looking at the actions and the messages of others.  We live in a world where everyone has an increased sensitivity towards “fake news” and now need to fully appreciate that not all of this will come from traditional news sources or professional educational research and journals.  It may well come in the form of the next Twitter message that your read.

Understanding and analyzing this can only have good results.

Thanks, David, for starting me down this path of thought.

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4 comments

  1. Doug, this is a great post! You had me reading David’s as well, and I will admit that I drew the same conclusion as you did about his views on self-promotion. This makes me think about the leadership course that I’m taking right now and some great conversations around online sharing and writing.

    I think that I feel much as you do, Doug (and maybe even how David feels)! I struggle with some overly blatant self-promotion, but Twitter is a great way for sharing, and I know that most of my blog readers find out about my posts through Twitter. So I try to avoid retweeting every tweet that people send about my posts, but I do share to some different applicable hashtags. I usually share at night and in the morning over two days. Then I just let the post hang out there. I only tag people that I actually mention in the post. To me, this feels like sharing, but not over sharing. Is it though? Where do we draw the line? This is definitely a topic with lots of shades of grey. Maybe this topic also comes down to using social media how we want to use it. Do we all need to use it in the same way? Is one way definitely better than another?

    Most of my tweets are of our classroom happenings. I share here because this is where our parents follow us. Then they can see the learning throughout the day. I’m not saying, “Come and see everything we’re doing,” but is this how people interpret it? My thinking is that if my sharing doesn’t work for others, they’ll unfollow or mute me. That’s okay. We all need to find what works for us in the social media realm (or at least that’s what I believe). What about you?

    Aviva

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s a nice collection of thoughts, Aviva. You explain how you use social media for various purposes and how things are timed. That may well open another discussion about the over-promoter in that they often appear in a big flurry of self-promotion of posts and then are gone. A true learner is there for the long run and engage in a number of things other than promoting themselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. There is a balance and I agree that a certain degree of self promotion or advocacy is good and while this might also sound a bit arrogant it’s also important for the community. At a certain point in time you realize that some people find value in what you write or share and if you don’t share it people won’t discover it.

    On the other hand, over-promotion can indeed be annoying but part of that can also be related to the ephemeral nature of Twitter. You might tweet something once an hour all day and if I’m not on at the right times or Twitter doesn’t decide that it’s something that I might “have missed’ I won’t see it at all. On the other hand, I might see every last one.

    So all those tweets can be a nuisance to someone but be missed entirely by another.

    Like

  4. Doug – thanks for this post – I just read David’s post and commented. I agree that some self-promotion is absolutely necessary. I see it more as managing of your digital footprint. We should be curating our online presences with thought and care. If some choose to see that as self-aggrandizing, then perhaps that might lead to some self-reflection or even a conversation like David has started.

    Liked by 1 person

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